- Big, Loud, and Proud, the Audaz Scuba Master is a Gem of a Dive Watch That Rings In at Under $400
- Audaz Scuba Master Technical Specifications
- Meet the Monstrous Scuba Master
- Seiko NH35A Automatic Movement
Big, Loud, and Proud, the Audaz Scuba Master is a Gem of a Dive Watch That Rings In at Under $400
The last dive watch I reviewed – the Orient Mako Rubber “Pepsi” – was a piece I genuinely enjoyed. The Mako had all the makings of a great dive watch aside from one weakness: a paltry 200m of water resistance.
If you aren’t in the know when it comes to watch water resistance ratings, I don’t blame you for thinking that 200m ought to be terrific. After all, how many people actually dive down to 200m? Well, in the case of the Mako, 200m leaves a bit to be desired.
Water resistance is measured on what feels like a completely arbitrary scale that obscures their true ratings. A watch rated to 50m – such as the Hamilton Jazzmaster Day/Date – is barely suitable to be worn while washing your hands. Shouldn’t something rated to 50m be able to at least go for a swim? No, not at all. You can read more about it here.
So, the Mako: an affordable “dive” watch that has 200m of water resistance. 200m of resistance does mean you can take it swimming, but you probably shouldn’t wear it when diving. Huh? A dive watch you can’t dive with? Exactly my point.
Allow me to introduce you to the Audaz Scuba Master, a genuine dive watch rated to 500m of depth. This level of water resistance means that you can absolutely go for a dive with the Audaz strapped to your wrist, and as you’re about to find out, the watch practically begs you to do just that.
Oh yea, let’s “dive” in, shall we?
Audaz Scuba Master Technical Specifications
- Model Number: ADZ-2035-02
- MSRP: $399
- Case Diameter: 50mm
- Alternate Models: Strap, dial, and case color options
- Movement: Automatic, Seiko NH35A
- Complications: Date display
- Power Reserve: Estimated 40 hours
- Water Resistance: 500m / 1650 ft
- Crystal Material: Mineral
Meet the Monstrous Scuba Master
At 50mm, this Audaz now holds the title as the biggest watch I have reviewed to date. I’ve taken on my fair share of oversized timepieces – including the Shark Tawny (which I compared to a small moon). If you’ve read some of my other reviews, you already know that I suffer from SWS (small wrist syndrome)- a debilitating condition, no doubt. So, you already know what I’m about to say then.
This thing is freakin’ huge. I mean, wow. Just… wow.
It’s also heavy. It’s one of the only watches I’ve worn that carries weight. This watch doesn’t just ask for your attention- it outright demands it.
Now, this is the part when I’d normally lament its ridiculous size and bemoan its fit for myself and other people suffering from SWS, but that road is one I won’t travel today for several reasons.
First, somehow (and I really don’t know how), the Scuba Master wears smaller than its 50mm case would suggest. Not much smaller, but still. As my wife said to me earlier today, “I’m surprised that thing is 50mm because you’ve had smaller watches that looked bigger”. She’s right.
Second, the Scuba Master very much feels as tough as its hulking size would imply. Between the screw-down crown, steel case, rotating bezel (which rotates counter-clockwise in very defined and secure clicks), and helium escape valve, the Scuba Master has the hardware to back up its deep-water ambitions.
And lastly, I really like this thing. I’m not sure what it is about it. Between the gold ion-plated case, black mother of pearl dial, and positively luminescent… lume… there’s a lot on the Scuba Master to like.
So yes, it’s huge, and I like it.
It’s Earned High Praise From Me, But It’s Not Without Its Faults
Over the last 100 or so watches I’ve reviewed I can feel a very distinct change in my tastes. Things that used to be important to me – sophisticated complications, beautiful metal bracelets, and the like – have become less so. Today, I place most value in how a watch works as a whole.
Now, as a colorblind guy with absolutely no design sense whatsoever, I often feel out of place when criticizing how something looks. This is why I traditionally avoid negatively commenting on aesthetics, as I know this area is a subjective one. Still, there’s one visual component to the Scuba Master that I can’t help but feel is overdone, and that is in Audaz’s logo.
The logo is also huge, resting prominently at 12 o’clock, and it takes away from the rest of the piece somewhat. Don’t get me wrong: there’s nothing bad about Audaz’s logo. I just wish it was 25% smaller. This is the same criticism I’ve given other watches, including some excellent pieces like the Brellum Duobox.
In my opinion, were Audaz to dial back the size of the logo by about 25%, the Scuba Master would really be a striking piece. As it is, it’s still a fine looking diver.
Seiko NH35A Automatic Movement
Flip the Scuba Master on its back and you’re treated to a view of the excellent Seiko NH35A. My first experience with the NH35A was in the Grayton automatic, and since then I’ve encountered it in several microbrands that I’ve tested.
In addition to a view of the mechanical engine within, you’ll also find a blue portrait of a diver skimming along the sea floor. This really drives home the purpose of the watch and is a tasteful way to reinforce the intent of this piece. The decor is also inside the crystal, so you won’t have to worry about it scratching or flaking off.
The NH35A is a great choice for a watch at this price point. I have absolutely no complaints here.
Specifications & Accuracy
The Seiko NH35A is a hacking, hand-winding automatic that builds on its older brother, the venerable 7S26 automatic.
- Power Reserve: 41 hours
- Vibrations per hour: 21,600 bph
- Accuracy: -20/+40 seconds per day
- Observed accuracy: -16 seconds per day
Treated right, the NH35A inside will last longer than the watch… and the Scuba Master is overbuilt, trust me.
Note: you must first unscrew the screw-down crown before you are able to manipulate the watch.
- To adjust the time, pull the crown to the farthest position (position 3). Turn the crown clockwise to adjust the time. Note that the date display will automatically rollover at midnight.
- To adjust the date, pull the crown to its middle position (position 2). Turn the crown clockwise to adjust.
Important: screw-down the crown before you go swimming.
So, The Moment of Truth: Is the Audaz Scuba Master a Worthy Contender for 400 of Your Hard-Earned Dollars?
Absolutely! This watch feels like it’s been built to survive a nuclear attack or a direct blow by a sledge-hammer (note: testing not recommended). It’s an honest-to-goodness diver with a capable and robust automatic movement, backed by a two year warranty, and sold at a great price.
Audaz is offering a 30% discount when you apply the coupon code WYCA30 at checkout, bringing the actual price down to $280. For $280 you won’t find a better dive watch.
Very much recommended for divers and fellows with big-wrists everywhere. You won’t be disappointed.